Are you so full in your professional life that you are feeling stuck? Is your work environment a place where everyone is working in silos or in circles? Here’s how to tap into your natural cognitive process and bring out the ‘Aha’ moments for solutions and success.
An Aha moment is a moment of sudden realisation, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension. It’s a powerful moment when a solution presents itself – ‘a way forward!’ for change, for helping us get unstuck.
These ‘flashes of genius’ by the way aren’t only for a chosen few and they don’t suddenly pop up either. Science tells us Aha moments are a normal cognitive process and researchers believe there are three different types of Ahas. But it is essential ingredients like effective communication, collaboration, Team Intelligence™, practice and time that will see the ‘Aha’s rise to the top.
Having these moments of realisation, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension, however, is not enough to facilitate change or bring about innovation, they need to be actionable. They need to be an Actionable ‘Aha’.
An actionable ‘Aha’ moment is where the insight or solution to a problem (good or bad) comes alive. Where you draw accountability to the change you want to see and start implementing.
For example, when we are working with people in a team facilitation, workshop or coaching session, our aim is to connect with every person in a way that will inspire them to improve their life by at least 1% through an ‘Aha’ moment. But we know the improvement isn’t going to be seen by simply thinking about it, it requires action.
Here’s how we help our participants with that.
At the end of any session, we ask our participants to share their ‘Aha’ moments. We also ask that they write them down and make them actionable – in small steps – because it is in these small actions that the day to day activities become easier and ultimately better.
We also know that to generate results from our actions we need time, so we then give our participants space to allow this to happen, to build on their small steps, and we follow up with them with a coaching email after the workshop and ask again how they are going with their Actionable ‘Aha’.
There’s a section in this article on the science of ‘Aha’ moments that explains how and why Ahas come up when we give ourselves space (read about the ‘shower Ahas’)
Listening: Listen to others, people have so much unique knowledge to share from their experiences. Make the most of the team intelligence around you to approach a problem.
Listening is also a great conduit for empathy, for understanding a situation on a much deeper level. Listening is essential for any type of problem-solving whether its innovation or a crisis.
And listen to yourself too. Take time to let your own knowledge/research/discussions/learning and intuition sink in (refer back to the shower scene)
Inquire: Asking questions (and effectively listening!) If you are curious, the world of Aha’s will open up to you.
Sharing: Share with others what is happening in your world and you will be surprised how the Aha’s appear in your generosity. This is something we see time again when people are accessing the team intelligence around them. The term team, by the way, can also refer to your friends and family.
Here’s a snippet from an article we wrote on ways to bring out the Aha moments in learning situations:
Recognise the Opportunity Instead of coming to the session and viewing it as an interruption or a rehash, see it as an opportunity. Focus on being open to learning something new, or at the very least to confirm what you’re doing is right so you can help others become more skilled. Have you heard of The Protege Effect?
Participate Fully Participate in activities, answer questions, share your knowledge, thoughts and experiences. Not only will that embed your learning but it will help others to embed theirs. Build on your unique Team Intelligence.
Take Notes If you can create in your mind’s eye how a particular concept can work for you write it down, highlight it, and send yourself a reminder. Even the best of the best take notes and re-read them and apply them. Richard Branson famously has notepaper and a pen with him wherever he goes. Remember: the real magic is in the doing, as in rereading, and taking action.
You have access to Aha moments, for growth, change and getting UNSTUCK!
If you are looking for a solution or feeling stuck:
And when those moments of sudden realisation/inspiration/insight/comprehension occur:
Make Them Actionable! Because it is by making them actionable when you will truly see the change you want to see.